Tuesday, December 13, 2011


So it's been awhile. I have completed two additional races - my final two for 2011 - and haven't even blogged about them yet! Let's make up for that, shall we?

First, there was the 3.14 Run for Pie, which Linda and I did with Di and Justin (and their friends Stacy and Steve) on Thanksgiving. Cross the finish line, get a pie. Sounds good to me! There was even an honored guest at the starting line:

A real, live turkey!

We had a great race, all things considered. Here's me and Linda, before the start.

The weather was perfect (chilly but pleasant) and the town of LaGrange is lovely; lots of pretty homes to look at as I ran. The part that sucked was not achieving my goal. Well, my secondary goal. I wanted to PR at this race - which I did - but I wanted it to be my first sub-40 5K ... my first 3.1 miles with an official time under 40 minutes.

There were issues at the finish line that prevented that, though. Although the clock said 39:50 as I approached the finish, I hit an intense bottleneck and couldn't cross in time to beat 40. It was still a personal record, but not by the margin I had hoped. Boo hoo. But I still got a pie, I still had a blast, and I'll do it again next year.

My stats: 779 of 965 runners overall. 64 of 82 in my age group. Finish time of 41:04.5, with an average pace of 13:05 per mile. For those of you doing the math, this is a huge improvement over my early run results.

The Sunday after Thanksgiving (December 3) was the Arlington Heights Santa Run. Thousands of runners "suit up" as Claus an run a 5K through my town. It was awesome!

The Schaumburg LTF Girls, all suited up and ready to run. I'm on the left, followed clockwise by Lorna, Meg, Dee, Linda and Shelly.

This was a great race, as it was also last year. Linda and I approached this year's event with a different mindset. We ran this one just for the joy of running; no pushing, no working toward a PR, just being happy we could do it. It was an important reminder of what's important and why we got into this whole thing to begin with; we're never going to cross the finish line first, but we will do our best to finish, upright, uninjured. It matters.

With that mindset, we still ran a great race. Linda is a great running partner, and kept me motivated forward through the 3.1 mile course through my neighborhood. (The start and finish happens across the street from my house.) My results?

998 out of 1083 overall. Finished in 43:33.8, for a pace of 14:01.3 per mile.

After we all finished, everyone piled back into my apartment (and by everyone, I'm including not just my LTF run buds, but my old friend Amy and her sister, Susan. She joined us for our first run together!) for the main event: breakfast. I love my friends because they cook. We had asparagus quiche and raspberry French toast, scones and fruit, mimosas and danish and bagels and ... dear GOD, I'm not sure how I moved that afternoon. It was delicious and amazing.

So that's where we're at, folks. The races for 2011 are complete, and I feel damn good about that. I've already begun to register for 2012, and while I'm nervous (half marathon, here I come!) I'm also excited. I can do this. The only goal is to finish, injury free and verticle, with a smile on my face.

You in?

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